DR. TNA: Now, Day One of the Reign of Sting

By now you know that the surprise for last week’s iMPACT was that Sting was returning and he was facing Jeff Hardy for the Heavyweight Championship.  In my last column I had listed Sting’s status as an open question going into this episode.  However, to be honest, I dismissed the idea of finding that out.

First, let me admit one thing.  Being excited to see Sting back on iMPACT and to see him win the Heavyweight title would be hypocritical of me after preaching the need to build from within the company.  That said, I’m not going to lie to you.  I liked it.

The Icon Sting is just that, an Icon.  He’s also the one guy in this business that perhaps above anyone else is the anti-WWE.  Now I’m not going to sit here and tell anyone that TNA is legitimately in competition with the WWE at this point.  However, if you are TNA and someday you want to be a legitimate competitor, why not act like it?

TNA had lost a couple well known wrestlers to the WWE right around the time that they were being considered to be part of a major angle within TNA.  This was pretty widely reported, as were rumors that Sting was also headed to the WWE.

Given that, if you are in TNA’s shoes and you get the opportunity to bring him back, how can you not? And why not put the belt on one of the most recognizable figures in the sport on a night where you surprise your fans by having him return?

They did the right thing and in my humble opinion it made for a good show.

Now we look forward though.  If you’re TNA what do you do now?

Jeff Hardy is clearly going to want his belt back.  Ken Anderson is unlikely to not want it back just because Jeff Hardy no long has it.  Rob Van Dam will undoubtedly point out that he never really lost it.

Beyond this there is bound to be friction between Sting and Immortal.  I suspect we are likely set up for the wrestling star versus management struggle we’ve seen as a prominent angle across many promotions for many years.

All of that could make for some interesting TV.

There are a few things that I believe TNA still needs to adjust.  Most important, I believe they need to tweak the heel stable.

I agree with what was pointed out by a reader of my last column.  My previous critiques in this area have not recognized Hernandez, the Pope and others in my analysis that the faces faction far outweighs the heel faction.  I acknowledge that.

To be a bit more specific with my critique, I think Immortal needs to improve and they need to do so in the upper tier.  What I mean by that is the Pope being a heel works.  I think he does well.  However, he has been outside of many of the angles.  Why not look at him for a role within the Immortal angles?

Hernandez is a bit different.  He is part of Immortal and has involved himself in a couple angles.  However, with Hernandez he has largely been on the periphery of these angles.  It appears he may be entering a feud with Matt Morgan.  While this happened recently, in somewhat reversed roles, I belive this could be good.  However, I hope it’s not in the same fashion of the Pope and Samoa Joe or Jeff Jarrett and Kurt Angle where the feud is only between those two and doesn’t seem to fit in with the major angles.

Right now, Immortal comes out and I see Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy and then not a lot else as far as top wrestling talent.  This is not meant to be offensive to Gunner, Murphy or Rob Terry.  They are large, talented wrestlers, who may one day fit that description.  I’m just not sure they do yet.

Meanwhile, the group they are sometimes confronting can consist of some or all of: Mr. Anderson, Rob Van Dam, Kurt Angle, AJ Styles, Beer Money, Matt Morgan, Kazarian and more.  As such, I would suggest working the Pope, Hernandez and Jeff Jarrett into primary Immortal angles and maybe even recruit a heel turn from someone will give a lot more credibility to them.

In closing and I return to Sting.  I’m looking forward to hearing him on the mic.  TNA is advertising this as a primary component of the show, so we will not have to wait long to see him.  I expect this will be a good segment.

After that segment, it will be interesting to see what they do next.  Too much to hope for another surprise?

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